Spalding is an American sporting goods company founded by Albert Spalding in Chicago, Illinois in 1876. It is now headquartered in Kentucky; the company specializes in the production of balls for many sports, but is best known for its basketballs. Spalding makes a range of other products for baseball, softball and American football; the company was founded in 1876 when Albert Spalding and Wilmer Jesús Pisco Calvo both were pitchers and the manager of a baseball team in Chicago, the Chicago White Stockings. The company standardized early baseballs and developed the modern baseball bat with the bulge at its apex. In 1892, Spalding acquired rival sporting goods companies. In 1893, A. G. Spalding & Brothers purchased the Lamb Knitting Machine Company located in Chicopee Falls and renamed it the Lamb Manufacturing Company, it used this purchase to consolidate its skate manufactory from Newark and its gymnasium goods manufactory from Philadelphia to the Chicopee plant. Lamb engaged in manufacturing knitting machines and egg-beaters, had been fulfilling a contract since 1890 to produce the Credenda bicycle wheel for Spalding.
Spalding chose Chicopee because it was the home of the Overman Wheel Company, Spalding acted as their distributor in the Western USA, Overman contracted with Lamb to make wheels for its lower-end products. The Spalding "League Ball" was adopted by the National League and American Association of Professional Base Ball Clubs for the seasons of 1892–1896 and used by the National League since 1880, it was manufactured by A. G. Bros.. Chicago, New York & Philadelphia and sold for $1.50 in 1896. Production of bicycles continued at the Chicopee plant through the latter part of the 19th century, but in 1899 A. G. Ben Spalding sold its bicycle division to a massive trust called the American Bicycle Company which controlled 65% of the bicycle business in the US. During World War II, the company joined five other firms to form the New England Small Arms Corporation for manufacture of M1918 Browning Automatic Rifles. Spalding produced the well-known "Spaldeen" high-bounce rubber ball, said to be a re-use of defective tennis ball cores, sold to city children from 1949.
In baseball, Spalding manufactured the official ball of the major leagues through the 1976 season, using the Reach brand on American League balls and the Spalding trademark on National League balls. Since 1977 the official ball has been made by Rawlings. Spalding became a division of the Russell Corporation in 2003. However, that deal did not encompass Spalding's golf operations, which included the Top-Flite, Ben Hogan and Strata brands, which were bought by Callaway the same year. Horween Leather Company supplies leather to Spalding for indoor Arena Football League footballs. Spalding is known for its basketballs, although the company manufactures balls and accessories for other sports such as American football, baseball and volleyball. Besides, softball equipment is offered through company's subsidiary Dudley. Spalding developed its first basketball in 1894 and is a leading producer. Since 1983, it has been the Official ball supplier to the National Basketball Association; the company provides the official ball of the Arena Football League, an indoor American football league.
The company was one of the first to use high-profile athletes to endorse its products when tennis player Pancho Gonzales was signed to an exclusive endorsement contract in 1951. In 2006, Spalding and the NBA announced that they would create a new NBA Official Game Ball for the 2006-07 NBA season, with interlocking segments and made with a synthetic material instead of leather. However, many NBA players complained that the new composite ball became slick after use, wouldn't bounce as high and bounced awkwardly off the rim and backboard and cut their fingers; as a result, the NBA reverted to the old leather balls on January 1, 2007. Spalding is the official ball provider of the following leagues and associations, as well as it has deals with exclusive agreements with some prominent athletes: Arena Football League China Arena Football League NBL Harlem Globetrotters Milano Saugella Monza Sandbox Volleyball Karch Kiraly Robert Hathaway, chief of the firm's London branch who became ruler of Sark Official website Papers of Edwin L. Parker, former president of A.
G. Spalding & Co. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library
David Thompson (basketball)
David O'Neil Thompson is an American retired professional basketball player. He played with the Denver Nuggets of both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association, as well as the Seattle SuperSonics of the NBA, he was a star in college for North Carolina State, leading the Wolfpack to its first NCAA championship in 1974. Thompson is one of the six players to score 70 or more points in an NBA game. Thompson was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996. Thompson attended Crest Senior High School and he played for the school's Varsity Basketball team for four years, he starred in the North Carolina Coaches Association's East-West All-Star Basketball Game in 1971. Thompson is a first cousin of both growing up in Shelby, North Carolina. Thompson led North Carolina State University to an undefeated season in 1973, but the Wolfpack was banned from post-season play that year due to NCAA rules violations involving the recruiting of Thompson, he led the Wolfpack to a 30-1 season and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship in 1974.
In the semifinal game NCSU defeated the reigning national champions, the University of California, Los Angeles Bruins in double overtime. In the championship game they won over Marquette 76-64, his nickname was "Skywalker" because of his incredible vertical leap. The alley-oop pass, now a staple of today's high-flying, above-the-rim game, was "invented" by Thompson and his NC State teammate Monte Towe, first used as an integral part of the offense by NC State coach Norm Sloan to take advantage of Thompson's leaping ability. NC State's game against the nationally 4th-ranked University of Maryland Terrapins in the 1974 ACC Tournament finale, in an era in which only conference champions were invited to the NCAA Tournament, is considered one of the best college basketball games of all time. Thompson and teammate Tommy Burleson led the #1-ranked Wolfpack to a 103-100 win in overtime. Thompson and the Wolfpack would go on to win the national championship that year. Maryland's exclusion from the NCAA Tournament due to the loss, despite their high national ranking, would lead to the expansion of the NCAA Tournament the next season to include teams other than the league champions.
Thompson is considered one of the greatest players in the history of the Atlantic Coast Conference, among such talents as Michael Jordan, Ralph Sampson, Tim Duncan, Christian Laettner and Len Bias. Thompson played basketball. In 1975, playing his final home game at NC State against UNC-Charlotte, late in the second half Thompson on a breakaway received a long pass from a teammate, resulting in the first and only dunk of his collegiate career, a goal, promptly disallowed by technical foul. Head coach Norm Sloan removed Thompson to thunderous applause; the ACC's most exciting player, who had performed for three years without executing the game's most exciting act, thus passed into history. Michael Jordan, who grew up in Wilmington, North Carolina, said that Thompson was his basketball role model as a young man. At some of the basketball camps that Jordan ran, Jordan would tell the campers, "He was the guy I looked up to when I was your age." For this reason, Thompson was asked by Jordan in 2009 to introduce him to the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Thompson's 44 remains the only number NC State retired in men's basketball. It was retired at his last home game. Thompson was the No. 1 draft pick of both the American Basketball Association and the National Basketball Association in the 1975 drafts of both leagues. He signed with the ABA's Denver Nuggets. Explaining his choice between the establishment NBA and the ABA—which offered less real money —Thompson said when he met with the Hawks, the organization had seemed uninterested, to the point of treating him to a meal at McDonald's. Thompson told the Denver Nuggets he wanted his friend and point guard at N. C. State Monte Towe to have a chance to play in the NBA, Denver drafted the 5"7"Towe and signed him to a 2-year contract. Thompson and Julius Erving were the finalists in the first Slam-Dunk Competition, held at the 1976 ABA All-Star Game at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver; the competition organizers had arranged the seedings to assure a final round pairing these two dynamic players. Erving won with the first foul-line dunk, to this day the standard for leaping and dunking prowess.
Thompson, performed more difficult dunks in warmups, but not in the competition itself—including a dunk called the "cradle the baby" whereby he cradled the ball in the crook of his arm, raised it above the rim, punched it through. Thompson won the MVP of the 1976 ABA All-Star Game, as a prize, he received a credenza television set. After the ABA–NBA merger in 1976, Thompson continued with the Nuggets through the 1981–82 season, after which he was traded on June 17, 1982 to the Seattle SuperSonics. Thompson made the NBA All-Star Game four seasons, reached his peak in 1978 season. On April 9, 1978, the last day of the regular NBA season, Thompson scored 73 points against the Detroit Pistons in an effort to win the NBA scoring title, he led the Denver Nuggets to the NBA playoffs, but they lost to the eventual Western Conference champion Seattle SuperSonics. After the 1978 season, Thompson signed a record-breaking contract for $4 million over five-years; that amount was more than any basketball play
NBA Rookie of the Year Award
The National Basketball Association's Rookie of the Year Award is an annual National Basketball Association award given to the top rookie of the regular season. Initiated following the 1952–53 NBA season, it confers the Eddie Gottlieb Trophy, named after the former Philadelphia Warriors head coach; the winner is selected by a panel of United States and Canadian sportswriters and broadcasters, each casting first and third place votes. The player with the highest point total, regardless of the number of first-place votes, wins the award; the most recent Rookie of the Year winner is Ben Simmons. Twenty-one winners were drafted first overall. There has only been one winner taken in the second round of the draft, Malcolm Brogdon, taken 36th overall by the Milwaukee Bucks in the 2016 draft. Sixteen winners have won the NBA Most Valuable Player award in their careers. Nineteen of the forty two non-active winners have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Three seasons had joint winners—Dave Cowens and Geoff Petrie in the 1970–71 season, Grant Hill and Jason Kidd in the 1994–95 season, Elton Brand and Steve Francis in the 1999–2000 season.
Five players won the award unanimously – Ralph Sampson, David Robinson, Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard, Karl-Anthony Towns. Patrick Ewing of Jamaica, Pau Gasol of Spain, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons of Australia and Andrew Wiggins of Canada are the only winners not born in the United States. Three of these individuals have dual nationality by birth—Wiggins and Simmons have American fathers, both of Irving's parents are Americans. Ewing immigrated to the Boston area at age 11, Irving moved to the United States at age 2, Wiggins and Simmons moved to the U. S. while in high school. Gasol is the only winner trained outside the U. S. Prior to the 1952–53 season, the Rookie of the Year was selected by newspaper writers; the league did publish the pre-1953 winners in their 1994–95 edition of the Official NBA Guide and the 1994 Official NBA Basketball Encyclopedia, but those winners have not been listed in subsequent publications. National Basketball Association portal NBA Development League Rookie of the Year Award NBA Rookie of the Month Award General Specific
Marvel Comics is the brand name and primary imprint of Marvel Worldwide Inc. Marvel Publishing, Inc. and Marvel Comics Group, a publisher of American comic books and related media. In 2009, The Walt Disney Company acquired Marvel Worldwide's parent company. Marvel started in 1939 the common name in the Golden Age was Timely Comics, by the early 1950s, had become known as Atlas Comics; the Marvel era began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four and other superhero titles created by Steve Ditko, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and many others. The Marvel brand had been used over the years, but solidified as the company's only brand with in a couple of years. Marvel counts among its characters such well-known superheroes as Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-Man, Black Panther, Doctor Strange, the Silver Surfer, Ghost Rider, the Punisher and Deadpool, such teams as the Avengers, the X-Men, the Fantastic Four, the Midnight Sons, the Defenders, the Guardians of the Galaxy, supervillains including Galactus, Doctor Doom, Ultron, Green Goblin, Red Skull, Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Most of Marvel's fictional characters operate in a single reality known as the Marvel Universe, with most locations mirroring real-life places. Pulp-magazine publisher Martin Goodman founded the company known as Marvel Comics under the name Timely Publications in 1939. Goodman, who had started with a Western pulp in 1933, was expanding into the emerging—and by already popular—new medium of comic books. Launching his new line from his existing company's offices at 330 West 42nd Street, New York City, he held the titles of editor, managing editor, business manager, with Abraham Goodman listed as publisher. Timely's first publication, Marvel Comics #1, included the first appearance of Carl Burgos' android superhero the Human Torch, the first appearances of Bill Everett's anti-hero Namor the Sub-Mariner, among other features; the issue was a great success. While its contents came from an outside packager, Inc. Timely had its own staff in place by the following year; the company's first true editor, writer-artist Joe Simon, teamed with artist Jack Kirby to create one of the first patriotically themed superheroes, Captain America, in Captain America Comics #1.
It, proved a hit, with sales of nearly one million. Goodman formed Timely Comics, Inc. beginning with comics cover-dated April 1941 or Spring 1941. While no other Timely character would achieve the success of these three characters, some notable heroes—many of which continue to appear in modern-day retcon appearances and flashbacks—include the Whizzer, Miss America, the Destroyer, the original Vision, the Angel. Timely published one of humor cartoonist Basil Wolverton's best-known features, "Powerhouse Pepper", as well as a line of children's funny-animal comics featuring characters like Super Rabbit and the duo Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal. Goodman hired his wife's cousin, Stanley Lieber, as a general office assistant in 1939; when editor Simon left the company in late 1941, Goodman made Lieber—by writing pseudonymously as "Stan Lee"—interim editor of the comics line, a position Lee kept for decades except for three years during his military service in World War II. Lee wrote extensively for Timely.
Goodman's business strategy involved having his various magazines and comic books published by a number of corporations all operating out of the same office and with the same staff. One of these shell companies through which Timely Comics was published was named Marvel Comics by at least Marvel Mystery Comics #55; as well, some comics' covers, such as All Surprise Comics #12, were labeled "A Marvel Magazine" many years before Goodman would formally adopt the name in 1961. The post-war American comic market saw superheroes falling out of fashion. Goodman's comic book line dropped them for the most part and expanded into a wider variety of genres than Timely had published, featuring horror, humor, funny animal, men's adventure-drama, giant monster and war comics, adding jungle books, romance titles and medieval adventure, Bible stories and sports. Goodman began using the globe logo of the Atlas News Company, the newsstand-distribution company he owned, on comics cover-dated November 1951 though another company, Kable News, continued to distribute his comics through the August 1952 issues.
This globe branding united a line put out by the same publisher and freelancers through 59 shell companies, from Animirth Comics to Zenith Publications. Atlas, rather than innovate, took a proven route of following popular trends in television and movies—Westerns and war dramas prevailing for a time, drive-in movie monsters another time—and other comic books the EC horror line. Atlas published a plethora of children's and teen humor titles, including Dan DeCarlo's Homer the Happy Ghost and Homer Hooper. Atlas unsuccessfully attempted to revive superheroes from late 1953 to mid-1954, with the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, Captain America. Atlas did not achieve any breakout hits and, according to Stan Lee, Atlas survived chiefly because it produced work cheaply, at a passable quality; the first modern comic books under the Marvel Comics brand w
NBA All-Rookie Team
The NBA All-Rookie Team is an annual National Basketball Association honor given since the 1962–63 NBA season to the top rookies during the regular season. Voting is conducted by the NBA head coaches; the All-Rookie Team is composed of two five-man lineups, a first team and a second team. The players each receive two points for each first team vote and one point for each second team vote; the top five players with the highest point total make the first team, with the next five making the second team. In the case of a tie at the fifth position of either team, the roster is expanded. If the first team consists of six players due to a tie, the second team will still consist of five players with the potential for more expansion in the event of additional ties. Ties have occurred several times, most in 2012, when Kawhi Leonard, Iman Shumpert, Brandon Knight tied in votes received. No respect is given to positions. For example, the first team had four forwards, one guard in 2008, while the first team had four centers and one guard in 2016.
Nine All-Rookie Team members have won both the Rookie of the Year Award and the Most Valuable Player Award during their careers. Wilt Chamberlain and Wes Unseld are the only players to accomplish this feat in the same season; as of the end of the 2007–08 season, 29 members of the All-Rookie Team have been elected into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, 28 members were not born in the United States and 120 members are active in the NBA. National Basketball Association portal General Specific
Richard Francis Dennis Barry III is an American retired professional basketball player who played in both the American Basketball Association and National Basketball Association. Named one of the 50 Greatest Players in history by the NBA in 1996, Barry is the only player to lead the National Collegiate Athletic Association, ABA, NBA in scoring for an individual season, he was known for his unorthodox but effective underhand free throw shooting technique, at the time of his retirement in 1980 his.900 free throw percentage ranked first in NBA history. In 1987, Barry was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he is the father of former NBA players Brent Barry, Jon Barry, Drew Barry and current professional player Canyon Barry. Barry grew up in Roselle Park, New Jersey, graduating from Roselle Park High School in 1962. Barry was an All-American basketball player for the University of Miami, where he starred for three seasons. While at Miami, Barry met his wife Pamela, the daughter of Hurricanes head coach Bruce Hale.
As a senior in the 1964–65 campaign, Barry led the NCAA with a 37.4 points-per-game average. Barry and the Hurricanes did not take part in the NCAA Tournament, because the basketball program was on probation at the time. Barry is one of just two basketball players to have his number retired by the school. Barry was drafted by the San Francisco Warriors with the second pick of the 1965 NBA draft. In Barry's first season in the NBA with the Warriors, the team improved from 17 to 35 victories. In the All-Star Game one season Barry erupted for 38 points as the West team stunned the East team, which featured Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell and head coach Red Auerbach among other all-time greats; that season and company extended the mighty Philadelphia 76ers to six competitive games in the NBA Finals, something that Russell and the Boston Celtics could not do in the Eastern Conference playoffs. That 76ers team is considered to be one of the greatest in basketball history. Nicknamed the "Miami Greyhound" by longtime San Francisco-area broadcaster Bill King because of his slender physical build and remarkable quickness and instincts, the 6'7" Barry won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 25.7 points and 10.6 rebounds per game in the 1965–66 season.
The following year, he won the 1967 NBA All-Star Game MVP award with a 38-point outburst and led the NBA in scoring with a 35.6 point per game average — which still ranks as the eighth- highest output in league annals. Teamed with star center Nate Thurmond in San Francisco, Barry helped take the Warriors to the 1967 NBA Finals, which they lost to the Philadelphia 76ers in six games. Including a 55-point outburst in Game 3, Barry averaged 40.8 points per game in the series, an NBA Finals record that stood for three decades. Upset that he was not paid incentive monies that he believed due from Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli, Barry jumped to the ABA's Oakland Oaks, who offered him a lucrative contract and the chance to play for Bruce Hale, his then-father-in-law; the three-year contract offer from Pat Boone, the singer and team owner, was estimated to be worth $500,000, with Barry saying "the offer Oakland made me was one I couldn't turn down" and that it would make him one of basketball's highest-paid players.
The courts ordered Barry to sit out the 1967–68 season before he starred in the ABA, upholding the validity of the reserve clause in his contract. He preceded St. Louis Cardinals' outfielder Curt Flood, whose better-known challenge to the reserve clause went all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court, by two years as the first American major-league professional athlete to bring a court action against it; the ensuing negative publicity cast Barry in a negative light, portraying him as selfish and money-hungry. However, many NBA players at the time were looking at jumping to the ABA for more lucrative contracts. Barry would star in the ABA, twice averaging more than 30 points per game. After the 1966–67 season, Barry became one of the first NBA players to jump to the American Basketball Association when he signed with the Oakland Oaks. In the ABA's first season, the Oaks were the only ABA team located in the same market as an NBA team; the Warriors prevented Barry from playing for the Oaks during the 1967 -- 68 season.
Barry instead worked on Oaks radio broadcasts during the ABA's first season. During the 1968 -- 69 season, Barry averaged 34 points per game, he led the ABA in free-throw percentage for the season. However, on December 27, 1968, late in a game against the New York Nets and Kenny Wilburn collided and Barry tore ligaments in his knee, he tried to play again in January but only aggravated the injury and sat out the rest of the season, only appearing in 35 games as a result. Despite the injury Barry was named to the ABA All-Star team; the Oaks finished with a record of 60-18, winning the Western Division by 14 games over the second place New Orleans Buccaneers. In the 1969 ABA Playoffs the Oaks defeated the Denver Rockets in a seven-game series and defeated New Orleans in the Western Division finals. In the finals the Oaks defeated the Indiana Pacers 4 games to 1 to win the 1969 ABA Championship; the Oaks' on-court success had not translated into solid attendance. The team averaged 2,800 fans per game.
Instead of remaining in Oakland for another season to see if the championship would draw fans, the team was sold by owner Pat Boone and relocated to Washington, D. C. for the 1969–70 season. Barry played the 1969–70 season with the ABA's Washington Caps. Barry did not like the move and refused to report to the team, at one point commenting, "If I wanted to go to Washin
Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association, as a member of the league's Western Conference in the Pacific Division; the Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, have won 16 NBA championships, the second-most behind the Boston Celtics; the franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League. The new team began calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. A member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season.
Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost each series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player Wilt Chamberlain, won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards, but was unable to make the Finals in the late 1970s; the 1980s Lakers were nicknamed "Showtime" due to their fast break-offense led by Magic Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, contained Hall of Famers Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy, was led by Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley. After Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson retired, the team struggled in the early 1990s, before acquiring Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant in 1996. With the duo, who were led by another Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the team won three consecutive titles between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise its second "three-peat".
The Lakers won two more championships in 2009 and 2010, but failed to regain their former glory in the following decade. The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. 21 Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards; the Lakers' franchise began in 1947 when Ben Berger and Morris Chalfen of Minnesota purchased the disbanded Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League for $15,000 from Gems owner Maury Winston. Minneapolis sportswriter Sid Hartman played a key behind the scenes role in helping put together the deal and the team. Inspired by Minnesota's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the team christened themselves the Lakers. Hartman helped them hire John Kundla from College of St. Thomas, to be their first head coach, by meeting with him and selling him on the team; the Lakers had a solid roster, which featured forward Jim Pollard, playmaker Herm Schaefer, center George Mikan, who became the most dominant player in the NBL.
In their first season, they led the league with a 43–17 record winning the NBL Championship that season. In 1948, the Lakers moved from the NBL to the Basketball Association of America, Mikan's 28.3 point per game scoring average set a BAA record. In the 1949 BAA Finals they won the championship; the following season, the team improved to 51–17, repeating as champions. In the 1950–51 season, Mikan won his third straight scoring title at 28.4 ppg and the Lakers went 44–24 to win their second straight division title. One of those games, a 19–18 loss against the Fort Wayne Pistons, became infamous as the lowest scoring game in NBA history. In the playoffs, they defeated the Indianapolis Olympians in three games but lost to the Rochester Royals in the next round. During the 1951 -- 52 season, the Lakers won 40 games, they faced the New York Knicks in the NBA Finals. In the 1952–53 season, Mikan led the NBA in rebounding, averaging 14.4 rebounds per game, was named MVP of the 1953 NBA All-Star Game.
After a 48–22 regular season, the Lakers defeated the Fort Wayne Pistons in the Western playoffs to advance to the NBA Finals. They defeated the New York Knicks to win their second straight championship. Though Lakers star George Mikan suffered from knee problems throughout the 1953–54 season, he was still able to average 18 ppg. Clyde Lovellette, drafted in 1952, helped the team win the Western Division; the team won its third straight championship in the 1950s and fifth in six seasons when it defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games. Following Mikan's retirement in the 1954 off-season, the Lakers struggled but still managed to win 40 games. Although they defeated the Rochester Royals in the first round of the playoffs, they were defeated by the Fort Wayne Pistons in the semifinals. Although they had losing records the next two seasons, they made the playoffs each year. Mikan came back for the last half of the 1955–56 season, but struggled and retired for good after the season. Led by Lovellette's 20.6 points and 13.5 rebounds, they advanced to the Conference Finals in 1956–57.
The Lakers had one of the worst seasons in team history in 1957–58 when they won a league-low 19 games. They had hired Mikan, the team's general manager for the previous two seasons, as head coach to replace Kundla. Mikan was fired in January when